SMART Goals Acronym
Each letter in the SMART goals acronym stands for a word. While the exact words may vary, the intent is the same – to help you set better goals.
When setting SMART fitness goals, the letters stand for Specific, Measured, Achievable, Relevant, and Timed.
First, setting a specific goal is like a bullseye. It gives you a precise target to shoot for.
Use 5 W’s to make your goal specific; Who, What, Where, When, Why.
Who is involved? What do you want to accomplish? Where will it occur? When will you begin? Why is this goal important to you?
Also, a SMART fitness goal should be measurable. The measurement could be a quantity, like body weight. Or a quality, like being lean and muscular.
The important thing is that you clearly define what success looks like. And you’re able to tell if you’re moving in the right direction. In other words, assign a value to your goal and track your progress.
Always remember, “You can’t improve what you don’t measure.”
Of course, your fitness goal needs to be realistic. Keep in mind what’s physically possible. And understand your starting point in relation to your endpoint.
Think of it like this, climbers don’t reach the peak of Mt Everest in a single day. Instead, they scale the mountain a little at a time.
Likewise, you shouldn’t expect to go from flab to fit in 30 days. Set small, achievable goals on the way to your fitness peak.
Your goal needs to be possible, but also challenging enough to push you higher.
In addition to being realistic, your goal also needs to be relevant. This means it’s connected to your overall objective – not based on a random feeling.
To illustrate, relevance occurs where all the pieces of your objective overlap. In this case, your goal should be something that is important to you, possible, and healthy.
When you’re goal isn’t important, you get bored. And when it’s not possible, you set yourself up for failure.
Most importantly, if you can’t reach your goal in a healthy way, you’ll overtax your body or crash your metabolism – leading to burnout.
A fitness goal is relevant when it addresses an important problem in a practical and healthy way.
Finally, a SMART fitness goal needs a time-frame. This is a deadline that forces you to take action and prevents procrastination.
A goal completion date could be a social event, a bodybuilding contest, or just a designated amount of time.
Set a reasonable time-frame to complete your goal and hold yourself accountable.